PhD & PostDoc Positions

Postdoctoral researcher position (f/m/d)

(100%, Two years)
The position focuses on research in the field of molecular systems engineering at the interface of chemistry, mechanobiology and biomaterials. In particular, it is planned to synthesize photoswitchable molecules to control cell adhesion. The project is part of the ERC project PHOTOMECH. We offer a creative and inspiring environment for experimental approaches and interesting research in the field of molecular systems engineering. Moreover, we highly encourage and provide opportunities for new ideas and projects.
  • Design, planning and realization of synthesis of photoswitchable molecules and their immobilization on surfaces and integration into inks for 3D printing.
  • Data analysis
  • Presentations on conferences and publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • General tasks in research and teaching in molecular systems engineering
  • Planning and execution of collaborations with research partners
Your qualifications:
  • Master degree (or equivalent) and doctoral degree in chemistry or related disciplines
  • Profound experience in organic synthesis
  • Interest and experience in working in an interdisciplinary research field
  • Profound experience with writing scientific publications
  • Creativity and ideas for new and unconventional solutions
  • Very good English language skills, very good communication skills
  • Strong (self-)motivation, commitment, ability to work independently as well as in a team
We offer:
  • Well-equipped research laboratories
  • An innovative work environment and an interdisciplinary team acting in a strong national and international network
  • Interesting and diverse environment
The salary corresponds to the level of E 13 TV-L of the German public service salary scale.
Application deadline is August 31, 2023.
Please send your application (including CV, motivation letter, certificates, publication list, two reference contacts) to Prof. Christine Selhuber-Unkel ( If you have any technical questions about the requirements profile and the associated tasks, please contact Prof. Selhuber-Unkel as well.
Heidelberg University stands for equal opportunities and diversity. Qualified female candidates are especially invited to apply. Persons with severe disabilities will be given preference if they are equally qualified. Information on job advertisements and the collection of personal data is available at

For students: Thesis, Hiwi...

Master Thesis Work


Light manipulation of 3D printed photoswitchable scaffold for mechanical stimulation


Photoswitchable scaffolds are promising platforms for a biophysical understanding of mechanotransduction which allow photomechanical stimulation of cellular proteins in a molecular lever, thus controlling mechanosensing in cells and control cellular functions (e.g. cell adhesion and cell differentiation) in a user-defined manner. Reported examples mainly deal with the response of cell adhesion to forces on the azobenzene-functionalized surface. Therefore, in this work, we apply an azobenzene which performs a high frequency oscillation upon illumination with visible light in a 3D matrix. Moreover, the light-based 3D printing is selected as a strategy to print scaffolds and open possibilities for the fabrication of complex multifunctional structures, eventually allowing for the quantitative probing of mechanical interactions between cellular proteins and photoswitchable azobenzene in 3D. 


  • The candidate should have previous synthesis experience. 
  • A basic knowledge of chemistry and material science is required. 


Prof. Dr. Christine Selhuber-Unkel, Dr. Qiyang Jiang


Starting date:
As soon as possible


HiWi position

  • We are hiring a student assistant (HiWi) for 3 months (40 hrs/month) for the following project: “Photoswitchable azobenzene-based platform for mechanotransduction” from June 2023 to August 2023.
  • The student (background: chemistry) will work on the following tasks:
    • Synthesis of azobenzene
    • Surface silanization and further modification with azobenzene and biomimetic peptide

Certified research assistant (gepr├╝fte wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft)

(30 hrs/month)

The Institute for Molecular Systems Engineering and Advanced Materials (IMSEAM) is searching for a certified research assistant (geprüfte wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft) to supervise the physical chemistry internship (PC Grundpraktikum TD1) in WS 2023/24.


Basic knowledge in physical chemistry, thermodynamics and calorimetry.

Starting date:

October 2023, 4 months


PostDoc and PhD positions

Postdoctoral Researcher and PhD positions available in the 3DMM2O (3D Matter Made to Order) Please find the details here.

If you are interested in joining the group, don't hesitate to contact Prof. Selhuber-Unkel.